Some of the daily emails that we get at SaunaCloud ask about the difference between a sauna and spas. Some people seem to use the word interchangeably while not understanding the major differences. A sauna is a small room, usually designed as a place where someone can go to experience either wet or dry heat sessions. Saunas can be targeted for either recreational or therapeutic use.
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A spa, or a hot tub, is a heated pool of water used for relaxation, soaking, hydrotherapy and/or massage. Both the sauna and the spa promote health and wellness but are far different things.
Saunas can either be wet or dry. Spas are always wet.
Wet saunas, also called steam saunas, are kept at moderately high temperatures and actually don’t feel quite as hot as very high dry saunas. This is because the water molecules floating in the air cool the skin, making the body able to withstand very high heat. Temperatures in a steam sauna can range from 100 degrees F to 125 degrees F. Conversely, dry saunas are operated at a very high temperature, upwards to 200 degrees F. This is possible due to the zero moisture level within the cabin, so the air temperature can rise very quickly. Higher temperatures produce greater sweating, thus better results, when seeking detoxification, relaxation, stress reduction and sleep benefits.
Steam Saunas Range from 100 – 125°F Whereas Dry, Traditional Saunas Range from 160 – 200°F. Infrared Saunas Range from 110 – 140°F.
SaunaCloud exclusively sells infrared saunas which produce heat through thermal radiation heaters, (using a combination carbon and ceramic elements), that range in temperature from 120 degrees°F to 157 degrees°F. These saunas heat the body directly (instead of heating the air then the body), thus raising the core body temperature. This results in the body receiving many health benefits associated with infrared heat. Additionally, because the temperature is much lower than a traditional dry sauna, it is a more much more comfortable thermal heat. The sweat is also much deeper as the core body temperature is higher. You are also able to sustain this sweat for a longer period of time.
I recently took a 30 minute traditional dry sauna at my gym. If you would like you can read about my traditional sauna session here.
As opposed to infrared saunas, traditional rock saunas heat the air utilizing heated water turned into steam. For hundreds of years this was the conventional method in terms of gaining the benefits from a good sweat. However, heated steam can be unbearable (as I found in my traditional sauna session) and even very tiring to others. Thus, people tend to use them less frequently. Infrared light is much more tolerable, even for a first time user; it also provides more benefits than the traditional sauna as it can be used more consistently. The more you sweat the better!
Whether a wet sauna, dry sauna, hot tub or spa, heating the body produces a sweat and is great all the way around. At SaunaCloud we believe the use of infrared heat to be the most productive in terms of raising core body temperature and actually doing it everyday. When this happens all sorts of wonderful health benefits are to be had.